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Flushing Dumplings

e
ebecker Mar 8, 2008 12:01 PM

Taking nine 6th and 7th grade students to Flushing on Monday to sample different kinds of dumplings. Any recommendations for food stalls and/or restaurants? Must be under $5 per person. If you can offer any hints on navigating the Main Street Malls without speaking any Chinese, that would be much appreciated.

  1. Veggo Mar 8, 2008 12:10 PM

    I choked with laughter when I saw the title of your post. Not your fault; I'm the one who flunked his ink-blot tests :)

    1 Reply
    1. re: Veggo
      e
      ebecker Mar 8, 2008 12:35 PM

      ...and I'm an English teacher and writer. Joke's on me. Nothing like posting on the fly. But can you help with any (non-scatalogical) recommendations?

    2. t
      The_Original_Basil Mar 8, 2008 01:01 PM

      I would suggest taking them to the lower level food court located inside Flushing Mall-it's next door to Best Western Hotel. I have been there on numerous and enjoyed the food there-they have sushi, Cantonese cooking, Dumplings (fresh made on the spot) and Noodles, dim sum and much more... As a Chinese American this is the place to go for real homestyle Chinese cooking with the right price tag!

      6 Replies
      1. re: The_Original_Basil
        j
        jaymor May 9, 2008 10:54 AM

        where is flushing mall in relation to the subway station?.....is it walking distance?

        1. re: jaymor
          Xiao Yang May 9, 2008 11:24 AM

          Yes, it's very close. About a block west and a block north of Roosevelt and Main (subway entrance).

          1. re: Xiao Yang
            j
            jaymor May 9, 2008 12:20 PM

            thanks.......i gather you are from the bay area.....am from la......everytime i come up to the bay area i always make it a point to eat at a hole-in-the-wall place called hon won ton ....i really like the wonton soup there.....best in sf chinatown i think......have any other places for wonton that i might try?

            1. re: jaymor
              Xiao Yang May 9, 2008 08:12 PM

              If you are asking about Flushing, I haven't really looked for it (though I was trying to figure out if the Wenzhou food stall in the 41-28 Main St. mall had a dish called "Tall Man Wonton". If you are asking about the Bay Area, there have been a number of discussions on the SF board about it (I do like ABC Bakery/Cafe on Jackson St.).

        2. re: The_Original_Basil
          k
          kathryn May 9, 2008 08:27 PM

          Here's the link to their web site's map and their listing in Places:

          http://www.888flushingmall.com/location.asp

          Other topics related (I think CHers have been more obssessed with the Golden Shopping Mall though):
          http://www.chowhound.com/topics/425766
          http://www.chowhound.com/topics/412132
          http://www.chowhound.com/topics/444487

          -----
          Flushing Mall Ginseng & Herbs
          13333 39th Ave, Queens, NY 11354

          1. re: The_Original_Basil
            designerboy01 Jun 17, 2008 11:53 PM

            I didn't notice anything Cantonese about Flushing Mall? I find the majority to be Taiwanese. They have a Northern Chinese place that serves some Big A Dumplings which I find really satisfying when I want a dumpling fix. If you are facing the bubble tea booth its to the left and the menu is all in Chinese. #6 is the dumplings and they are larger than normal for pot stickers.

          2. m
            Mike V Mar 8, 2008 01:10 PM

            In the upper right hand corner do a search: Dumplings in Flushing. Best Northern Dumpling Shop at 135-08 Roosevelt Ave gets very good reviews. If you want to be safe consider Spicy & Tasty on Prince St where English is spoken and rest rooms are very clean. Dumplings are $3.95 (be sure to mention you don't want them Spicy). Also, Joe's Shanghai at 136-21 37th Ave www.joeshanghairestaurants.com. Dumplings (8) are $4.65. Spicy & Tasty doesn't have a website but if you do a search: NY Magazine Review of Spicy & Tasty, you'll see the Menu. Print for the Students. I couldn't find a Menu for Northern Dumpling Shop. These restaurants have restrooms (versus the Malls). You may want to consider 3 orders each of dumplings, buns and cold sesame or other type noodles or whatever the students suggest.

            1. l
              Lau Mar 8, 2008 02:19 PM

              White Bear - tiny dumpling specialist shop with maybe 3-4 tables on Prince between Roosevelt and 40th

              Really awesome dumplings, they have a large variety...i like the pork and cabbage dumplings and the dumplings in hot oil. The believe there is an english menu, the people there are pretty english challenged, but you'll be fine if you point.

              Can also get bags of 50 frozen dumplings to go

              5 Replies
              1. re: Lau
                m
                Mike V Mar 8, 2008 03:22 PM

                I doubt that a restaurant with 3 or 4 tables would be suitable for a group of 10. Plus you believe there's an English Menu which means pointing which is unacceptable. Much too channeling wouldn't you agree? Once again, these are children.

                1. re: Mike V
                  l
                  Lau Mar 8, 2008 03:56 PM

                  they're dumplings man...you can take them outside and eat them, its not exactly a huge ordeal to eat dumplings in a styrofoam box with a fork (its just like eating street food)...if you wanted to you, you could take them to go and then eat them at the flushing mall which is like a block away...i dont think its that big a deal.

                  Why exactly is pointing unacceptable? i dont understand that at all...its pretty easy

                  i mean almost every good cheap dumpling place with a good variety of dumplings is going to be some dump hole in the wall

                  1. re: Mike V
                    Xiao Yang Mar 8, 2008 07:17 PM

                    Three or four tables can't accommodate 10 butts? And I think the OP would be the best judge of what's "acceptable" to his kids. After all, he's already suggested the Main Street Malls, which are probably more daunting that White Bear (which I've just put on my list for my next east coast visit, thanks Lau!).

                    1. re: Xiao Yang
                      l
                      Lau Mar 8, 2008 07:30 PM

                      definitely worth trying out...my favorite dumpling place in flushing, very good and fresh and hand made

                      fyi, these are not guo tie (i.e. potstickers --> crescent / moon shaped dumplings), these are northern chinese style dumplings that are more like mis-shaped balls...so if you're looking to show your kids something different than the dumplings they've likely had in the US then this is a great place

                  2. re: Lau
                    Chandavkl Mar 10, 2008 10:06 AM

                    White Bear is good but I don't think there are even three or four tables there--more like two tables outside the counter. In this regard Best North might be your better bet since there's a food court type of set up inside with a fair number seats . I don't think the sign outside actually says Best North--however the signage clearly refers to Dumplings so you can't miss it. It's on the corner of Roosevelt and Prince.

                  3. l
                    lwong Mar 8, 2008 06:35 PM

                    Besides the earlier suggestions by the other posters, if you are willing to hoof around and eat outside from takeout restaurants/stores, there are a number of possible restaurants in Flushing that might be worthwhile and one can also try other items besides dumplings and also get the most value for one’s money.

                    There is a small takeout dumpling shop right next door to the LIRR parking lot on 41st Ave (northern side of street and east of the LIRR parking lot) that has an interesting story of immigrant perseverance. We called her the “Dumpling Woman,” who started out originally many many years ago as a “one woman” vendor cart selling “guo tie” (pan fried dumplings) right on the sidewalk in front of the present store.

                    The little store now sells a variety of Chinese takeout items. Besides the “guo tie”, there are also small and large pan fried baos filled with pork and vegetables, hot and sour soup, “tofu fa” (a light tofu pudding served with a sweet ginger syrup), egg rolls, sweetened soy bean drink in bottles, and a number of other items. Just about all of the items cost about $1 each (the small buns are 3 for a dollar and the “guo tie” may still be 4 for a dollar after all these years), hence money should not be an issue.

                    Right around the corner on Main Street (west side of Street) right under the LIRR trestle is another takeout store that sells many little Chinese items such as stir fried noodles, pancakes, fried chicken drumsticks, fried dumplings, and many others, and all should be at around $1 dollar each or less. While many of the items would not be considered great, they are nourishing and acceptable.

                    Go north on Main Street, another 50 feet and there is a takeout window stall at the “Corner 28” restaurant (corner of Main Street and 40th Road; Southwest corner) that is the only place in NYC that we are aware of that sells “Peking Duck” sandwiches and at the low price of $0.75 cents each. We have tried the “Peking Duck” sandwiches and they are reasonably good for the price. This window stall has been recently selling flat rice noodles with beef, pork, or shrimp fillings called “Cheung Fun.” Supposedly according to recent Chowhound postings, the “Cheung Fun” items are sold as breakfast items in the mornings.

                    Also in Flushing, there are a number of Chinese bakeries that all sell Chinese bakery items for $1 or less. We like the flaky curry beef pastry at the “Tai Pan” bakery on Main Street (between 37th and 38th Avenues; on eastern side of Main Street). We would recommend staying away from the more western looking pastries and sticking with the more traditional Chinese pastries.

                    One block further south on Main Street at 40-41 Main Street, there is a hole-in-wall store that is a refugee from the former food stalls in the now defunct J&L Mall on Main Street, that sells a Red Bean pastry that is some kind of sweet rice with a red bean filling that is deep fried. This item also only costs $1 and while the red bean flavor may be a little exotic for non-Asian tastes, it may be worth a try. When the store was in the old J&L Mall, there was usually enough turnover that the Red Bean pastries were usually out of the fryer only a short time before they were sold. Once they sit around too long they begin to lose their puffiness and becomes a little oily.

                    At a budget of $5 per student, one could go to five different takeout places purchasing 5 different items to get a good flavor of Flushing Chinese street foods. Language should not be a major problem at these takeout places, as they are all “point and order” places where one can see the various available food items, although some of these stores may have employees that can speak English passably.

                    Good luck!

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: lwong
                      l
                      Lau Mar 8, 2008 07:12 PM

                      yeah the peking duck sandwiches are a good idea, they're cheap and tasty

                      1. re: lwong
                        l
                        LloydG Mar 11, 2008 11:38 AM

                        I was going to suggest these three places as well (the one on 40th Rd., the one under the LIRR, and Corner 28). If you are there before lunch, Corner 28 also has a selection of dumplings inside on the right hand side. They are four for $2.25. Also, Chou Zhou (on the corner of Main St.and 40th Rd.) serves dim sum until 3:00 p.m. and could certainly accomodate a large party. They also have dumplings in soup on their breakfast menu.

                        Let us know what the kids thought after you go. Now I'm craving dumplings.

                      2. e
                        ebecker Mar 9, 2008 02:02 PM

                        The "OP" (her, not him) thanks you all for your suggestions and helpful info! The point and gesture method is fine; adventures are a plus! And my students will be researching basic polite phrases plus the word for dumplings in Mandarin, Cantonese and Korean.

                        1. Polecat Mar 10, 2008 10:13 AM

                          Wish my 6th grade teacher had taken me out for dumplings. Any room for 40-somethings in that class?
                          P.

                          1. missinfo May 9, 2008 09:12 PM

                            I agree with polecat...when I was in 6th grade I had a trip to a pretzel factory. yuck.
                            on the topic of dumplings tho, I just ordered the soup dumplings from "Noodle House" on prince st, right next door to Happy Beef Noodle House.....and they were decent and cheap but I think I prefer Joe's Shanghai in Flushing or Shanghai Cafe on Mott in NYC. The skins were super flimsy and the meat was too dense, so it was like a bowling ball in wet tissue.
                            The soup was ok, but I guess I couldnt get past the dense meatball effect.
                            I wonder if there's somewhere else in Flushing that I can try?
                            Luckily I also scored some yummy tofu for breakfast from the flower shop lady on Roosevelt, so all was not lost.

                            16 Replies
                            1. re: missinfo
                              p
                              PaMa Jul 23, 2008 07:23 PM

                              Ok, very late to the posting but just joined Chowhound. I love the discussion about dumpling. My parents are from Shangdong the Northern part of China were dumpling is eaten more then rice but I grew up in Hong Kong were it is the capital on Cantonese cuisine.

                              I would recommend one place for northern style dumpling (thicker wheat dough, more vegetable then meat ratio in dumpling, cooked in water versus soup). It is also in Flushing mall but not in the food court. I can't remember the name but it is run by a Korean woman who speaks Mandarin. Her workers are from Northeast China. They have by far the most authentic and tasty dumpling in Flushing. They remind me of the ones my grandmother made. My favorite is the 3 flavors (Chinese Chives, pork and shrimp) and five flavors (cabbage, yellow chives, chinese chives, pork and shrimp). The dipping sauce is a Korean Chinese hybrids. Her northern dumpling is better then any other in Flushing (sorry white bear fans). Again, I'm only comparing it with those I grew up with. Her stall is located to the right of Banzi (the Japanese 99 cent store). I haven't seen this place mentioned on the board. It deserves a mention as one of the best dumpling in New York.

                              My second recommendation is Sifou Chiu, Corner of Prince street (40-09 Prince street). They make the best Cantonese style dumpling which really is a variation of a cantonese wonton (thin dough, egg in dough, more meat less vegetable, served in brothand usually with noodle). I cannot believe no one on the board ever talked about this place. They have the most authentic Hong Kong Hawker style wonton in New York period. All of my Hong kong friends go there. My favorite is the watercress dumpling. They make it when you order it not prefab, can't beat that.

                              If you are there order the friend wonton, no matter what, even if they are full (often), get it to go and eat it in the park across the street. Eat it hot. You can never eat a fried wonton from any place again. They don't just dump the wonton in the oil. They douse the wonton with oil repeatedly so it is light. My husband says he hears harp music everytime he bite into one.
                              Can you tell I love this place?
                              The price is cheap (12 fried wonton for $6.50). It is a whole in the wall 7-8 tables of 8. Serves everything in plastic take out bowls even if you eat in, but it is all worth it.

                              1. re: PaMa
                                squid kun Jul 24, 2008 04:20 AM

                                Thank you, both places sound wonderful!

                                They have come up before - the Flushing Mall vendor in http://www.chowhound.com/topics/247773#1317017 , among other posts, and Sifu Chio (different spelling) in http://www.chowhound.com/topics/40664... . But fresh reports are always helpful and appreciated.

                                -----
                                Flushing Mall Food Court
                                133-31 39th Ave, Queens, NY 11354

                                Sifu Chio
                                40-09 Prince St, Queens, NY 11354

                                1. re: squid kun
                                  l
                                  Lau Jul 24, 2008 04:33 AM

                                  yeah ive been meaning to try that place in the flushing mall for a while as i always thought it looked interesting b/c of the korean twist...its not in the food court as PaMa said, its up in the shopping area

                                  never heard of sifu chio, will def try

                                  1. re: Lau
                                    l
                                    Lau Jul 24, 2008 07:38 AM

                                    btw where exactly is sifu chio? im thinking about it right now and is it on the corner of prince and roosevelt or prince and 40th?

                                    the corner of prince and roosevelt is a pharmacy and the corner of prince and 40th is a random restaurant next to fu ran?

                                    1. re: Lau
                                      squid kun Jul 24, 2008 10:54 AM

                                      That's the restaurant at Prince and 40th Rd. (the Google map is off by a block).

                                      1. re: squid kun
                                        l
                                        Lau Jul 24, 2008 12:48 PM

                                        so its the one next to fu ran right on the corner of prince and 40th?

                                        ive seen that place before, i guess i never thought to stop in b/c there aren't usually many people in there, but sounds pretty good from PaMa's description

                                        1. re: Lau
                                          squid kun Jul 24, 2008 03:14 PM

                                          That's it. Guess it's actually the same building as Fu Run, since the street address is the same.

                                          1. re: squid kun
                                            p
                                            PaMa Jul 24, 2008 05:57 PM

                                            Sifu is on the other corner next to Manner House resturant across from the tiny park and Bland House housing project.

                                            1. re: PaMa
                                              squid kun Jul 25, 2008 02:22 AM

                                              Did it move? My copy of the menu (which I picked up some months ago) gives Sifu Chio's address as 40-09 Prince St. - the same as Fu Run's. I got the menu at the corner restaurant just south of Fu Run, at Prince and 40th Road.

                                              I don't know where Manna House is, but I know where the projects are, and the narrow playground parallel to the LIRR tracks, which may be the park you're referring to. So we're right around the same area.

                                              1. re: squid kun
                                                l
                                                Lau Jul 25, 2008 06:09 AM

                                                i was just there when i went to gu xiang a few days ago...fu ran isnt on the corner its the restaurant to the left i.e. the second restaurant from the corner...sifu chio is the restaurant right next to it and is the restaurant on the corner (according to everyone, i didnt know what it is called), i walked by it but didnt know it was the restaurant everyone is talking about

                                                alot of the restaurants in flushing have the same address, the address system is weird...like for example king 5 noodle has the same address as spicy and tasty i believe

                                                1. re: Lau
                                                  squid kun Jul 25, 2008 10:14 AM

                                                  Yeah, I know Fu Run is up from the corner. One building, multiple commercial spaces, like the one you mention a block up: King 5, Spicy and Tasty, Sentosa and one or two others.

                                2. re: PaMa
                                  bigjeff Jul 24, 2008 10:51 PM

                                  yes thanks for the tip on the second place, sounds amazing; the first place is one of my personal faves, and also great in the summer (AC!)

                                  1. re: PaMa
                                    missinfo Oct 5, 2008 11:02 PM

                                    Oh I love those ladies up on the second floor of the Flushing Mall! I always assumed they were making korean mandoo, because it tastes very similar to my mom's. But the wrapping is a bit different. Delish!
                                    And now I'm so anxious to try the ones at Sifu Chio....if I can find it, lol....
                                    I'm not sure if its just bad taste, but sometimes I really like a dumpling with a thick doughy skin....
                                    (Once I went to Shanghai and bought some pork dumplings from a woman on the street who was cooking them on what seemed like a bunsen burner, lol...they were shaped like Joe's Shanghai soup dumplings but the skin was doughy and they were fried crispy on the bottom. She threw them into a plastic baggie and that was it....ahh, good times.)

                                    1. re: missinfo
                                      e
                                      emma Oct 7, 2008 08:14 AM

                                      i have a bag of frozen dumplings from the korean lady and imo they unfortunately don't stack up to the ones found in chinatown.

                                      1. re: emma
                                        missinfo Oct 17, 2008 05:24 PM

                                        where in chinatown???

                                        1. re: missinfo
                                          bigjeff Oct 28, 2008 07:08 AM

                                          prosperity dumpling on lower eldridge, 50 dumplings for $8 . . . . delicious! but be warned, there is a touch of MSG. damn good boiled or steam-fried, just bought two bags recently.

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